Macular degeneration is often referred to as AMD. It is one of the leading causes of vision loss for adults in the United States. At Andrew Stone Optometry, our eye doctor can diagnose and treat this condition. Many of our patients in Columbia have questions regarding macular degeneration. We have gathered some of the common questions that we run into regarding AMD.
What Is Macular Degeneration?
There is a small spot in the back of the eye called the macula, where light is focused. It helps you view what is directly in front of you. Unfortunately, as people age, it is common for this eye region to deteriorate, resulting in AMD.
Are There Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?
The symptoms can vary depending on your type of macular degeneration. AMD comes in two forms:
- Dry macular degeneration - This form is the most common, accounting for nearly 90 percent of cases. It causes a slow decline in your vision and compromises your central vision. Individuals report having clear peripheral vision but not being able to see in front of them.
- Wet macular degeneration - This form accounts for only about ten percent of cases, but it is far more dangerous. There are tiny blood vessels around the macula that can burst and leak fluids or blood. As a result, permanent damage can occur.
What Causes Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration isn't linked to one primary cause. The most common reason for its development is aging. However, there are more susceptible individuals. These groups include having an inactive lifestyle, those with macular degeneration in their family, smokers, and having medical conditions like high blood pressure and hypertension.
Is There Treatment for Macular Degeneration?
There isn’t a cure for macular degeneration, but advancements have been made to help patients live as normally as possible. Furthermore, there are a variety of treatments that can be used to slow the progression. These treatments include intraocular injections, laser therapy, vitamins, and supplements. The first step is making sure that you attend annual eye exams with an optometrist. Eye exams are imperative, especially for individuals over the age of 50. The early symptoms for many eye-related conditions are very subtle and can only be detected by a trained eye.
Can I Live Normally with AMD?
Millions of adults currently live a relatively normal life with this condition. Staying proactive with check-ups and treatment options can help keep your eyes as healthy as possible.
Contact Andrew Stone Optometry for an Eye Exam in Columbia, MO
Call our eye doctor for an appointment if you are noticing any symptoms of macular degeneration. We look forward to meeting you and creating a customized treatment plan. Call our team today at (573) 445-7750 or reach us through our website by using our online contact form.